After two nights at Broadway its time to bid farewell , pack up and hit the road again. This time we’re heading to a site that seems to be loved by lots of people, Lady Margaret’s in Chirk. In an area we’ve been to before, back in another life before caravanning when we toured the UK with the tandem, Chirk was our Welsh stop as we covered all parts of this green and pleasant land. So whilst the site is uncharted territory, a little bit of the area is familiar.
The ‘Welcome to Wales’ sign whizzes past and I missed it. I may have been studying the backs of my eyelids at the time. I blinked and the road markings announce ARAF as we round a bend so I guess we are well and truly in Welsh Wales.
The site is right next door to Chirk Castle, a National Trust property, which is at this time of year on reduced hours so may not be ticked off our list. Our National Trust membership needs considering, we pay it twelve months of the year then everything is shut on the four months we are not working. We do get to see the most beautiful, ornamental gates of the castle grounds as we turn into the club site … The Boss said Tongue and Groove would have been cheaper.
On discovering our location, one of our ‘virtuals’ suggests we go visit the Pontcysyllte Aqueduct providing we have a head for heights. The Boss loves any form of Aqueduct, Viaduct or Bridge, he’s says every valley should have one. Plus, we saw this one on the very inspiring Prunella Scales and Timothy West narrow boat documentary, so we add it to the itenary.
We walk direct from the caravan site entrance down a footpath towards another Aqueduct first, Chirk Aqueduct, via the cafe next door. The Boss has a new camera to play with … one of those big ones with a ‘zoomy’ thing on the front. To be honest he thinks his mobile phone is taking better pictures so I have to wait around while he takes enough pictures on both to compare later in the evening.
From here it would be a four mile walk directly down the canal to Pontcysyllte Aqueduct. On a warmer day we would have ‘gone for it’, but today we were getting cold, his poor camera trigger ‘pinky’ was getting cold and we wrongly wondered if it was four miles for crows and twelve miles contouring a long valley for humans … so, we get in the car.
We drive six times around the town looking for free parking, then find the Pay and Display car park, after seeing the prices he drives twice more around town and plonks the car on a housing estate. We then attempt the ‘we are visiting a neighbour walk’ rather than have the curtain twitchers think we are too tight to Pay and Display.
The Aqueduct was indeed very high, at 127ft, the highest canal viaduct in the world. The Boss couldn’t let go of the fence that he was equally sure wasn’t safe to lean on. Passing someone was another matter, you either leant on the fence or shimmied sideways inches from plunging into a freezing canal. The urge to cuddle a stranger in some sort of Strictly Come Dancing ‘Samba Roll’ was surprisingly strong, but we resisted, the cold plunge or plummeting fall seemed preferable to cuddling some of today’s traversers.
Has he decided if he prefers the ‘zoomy’ camera or the phone camera yet? “I need to take more pictures to test it”, he says.
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